2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    Oct 05, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Program Information

Honors Scholars Program

Mark Mann, Director

Near the end of the junior year, a student who has demonstrated exceptional scholarship and capacity for serious and creative study or research, and who has maintained a 3.500 cumulative GPA, may apply for entry into the Honors Scholars program. With the guidance of a faculty mentor, and in community with other Honors Scholars, the student will complete an extensive research project during the senior year. Successful scholars will receive special recognition at commencement ceremonies and on the university transcript of record.

Students who are accepted into the Honors Scholars program register in the fall semester for HON 4098  (two units), as listed below. This represents the initial phase of work on the required project. In the spring of the senior year, students register for HON 4099  (one unit) in order to complete the project. Exceptions may be made for students who plan to graduate in the fall.

Teaching Credentials

Jen Lineback, Advisor

Courses necessary to satisfy the requirements for the following teaching credentials are offered. The requirements presented in the School of Education section are in addition to the requirements for the baccalaureate major.

  • Single-Subject Teaching Credential - 2042 (Secondary) (Teacher Education)
  • Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential - 2042 (Elementary) (Teacher Education)
  • Special Education Teaching Credential - Mild/Moderate
    • NOTE: Special Education Teaching Credential - Moderate/Severe can be pursued post-graduation.

Pre-Professional and Cooperative Programs


Maria Zack, Advisor

Three options are open to students who wish to work toward a degree in some branch of engineering.

  • Those interested in engineering with an electronics emphasis such as electrical, hardware or systems engineering may choose to earn a general engineering degree in Electrical Engineering at Point Loma Nazarene University (see Department of Physics and Engineering ).
  • Those interested in engineering that combines knowledge of electrical engineering and computer science may choose the general engineering major in Computer Science Engineering (see Department of Physics and Engineering ).
  • Those interested in engineering with a mechanical emphasis may choose to earn a general engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering Physics at Point Loma Nazarene University (see Department of Physics and Engineering ).
  • Those interested in software engineering may choose to major in Software Engineering (see Department of Mathematical, Information, and Computer Sciences ).
  • Those interested in pursuing further study towards a M.S. degree will be well prepared by majoring in any of the general engineering area of Computer Science Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering Physics at Point Loma Nazarene University (see Department of Physics and Engineering ).

Interested students may seek counsel from the Engineering advisor.


Jeff Birdsell, Advisor
Students from all majors who are considering a legal career should contact the Pre-Law Advisor to receive the most current information about how best to prepare for law school. Pre-Law advising is designed to provide all interested students with the information and support they need to successfully apply to law school. The Pre-Law Advisor is available for individual consultation with students and also hosts events each semester aimed at providing information and networking opportunities to all PLNU students who are considering law-related careers.

There is no “Pre-Law Major” or list of required courses. Instead, PLNU’s Pre-Law advising focuses on assisting students of any major with information on the best preparation for law school, including: investigating program options, preparing for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), revising application materials, and exploring internships.

Pre-Law advising particularly takes a personal approach to connecting students’ interests in legal careers to God’s calling in their lives. Additionally, there are opportunities for networking with legal professionals in small-group settings. Students considering going to law school should contact the Pre-Law Advisor early in their academic career to ensure that they are on the distribution list for all Pre-Law information and events.


Sara Yu Choung, Advisor
Students from any major who are considering a career in dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine should contact the Pre-Health Advisor to ensure that they receive information about pre-health events, course requirements, volunteer opportunities, application process, advising, etc. The Pre-Health program is designed to help students determine whether a career in the health professions is right for them and support those who choose to apply to be the most successful and competitive applicants they can be. This includes, but is not limited to, speaker series, informational meetings, shadowing and volunteer opportunities, practice interviews, review of application materials, and recommendation letters.

There is no “Pre-Health or Pre-Med Major,” but each health professions school has specific course requirements for admission that generally include one year each of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, English (composition and/or literature), and physics, and one semester of biochemistry and mathematics. Health professions schools make no requirements regarding the choice of major for students preparing for the health professions but encourage a broad liberal arts background in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. Most students interested in careers in the health professions at PLNU choose to major in the natural sciences.

Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Physician Assistant

Brandon Sawyer, Advisor
Students of various academic majors intending to attend physical therapy and/or physician assistant school must prepare adequately for the rigors of graduate school and groom themselves for the application process. Interested students will receive advisement on accredited programs, prerequisites, and admission standards. The advisor assists in internship placement, preparation for the application process including letter of recommendation decisions and the admission interview paradigm. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation strategies and course sequence advising are offered. Prospective students are advised that high grades and entrance exam scores along with clinical hours are essential.

Interaction with professionals in the physical therapy and medical fields is encouraged through multiple clinical internship placements, the first of which can occur as early as the second semester of the sophomore year, advanced courses in injury assessment and rehabilitation, pathology of disease, and original research leading to Honors Scholar status at graduation. These interactions are beneficial to personal and pre-professional development and enhance the prospect of graduate school admission.


Scott Shoemaker, Advisor
Two- to four-year programs in Air Force, Army, and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps, are offered in cooperation with San Diego State University and the University of San Diego. Upon completion of the program and all requirements for a bachelor’s degree, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Air Force, Army, and Marines, and as Ensigns in the Navy. In addition to the leadership courses listed on the admissions office website, students are typically required to take a four to six-week Field Training Camp or cruise during the summer. Further information on these programs may be obtained from the ROTC advisor at Point Loma Nazarene University or from the Aerospace Studies Department, 619-594-5545, and the Military Science Department, 619-594-4943, at San Diego State University or the Department of Naval Science, 619-260-2288, at the University of San Diego.

Study Abroad Programs

In an ever-changing and interdependent world, Point Loma Nazarene University recognizes the value of providing for students the opportunity to live, learn, and engage in service in another culture. This experience helps students to expand their appreciation and understanding of other world cultures. It also strengthens their skills as global citizens.

In strong support of Point Loma Nazarene University’s mission and core values, the Study Abroad Office (SAO) actively encourages all students to participate in learning opportunities overseas for an academic year, semester or summer term, or with a faculty-led program. It works with the PLNU community to develop a global perspective in its study abroad curriculum and promotes academic integration in all the programs.

In addition to the programs listed on the SAO website, which have been approved to offer PLNU course credit, the SAO offers a selected group of programs through affiliated universities and program providers. Students wishing to study abroad must apply and be accepted with the Study Abroad Office. All students must determine, in advance, with the approval of their faculty advisors and the Director of Study Abroad, how courses taken through these programs will be applied to their specific graduation requirements. Furthermore, although most financial aid applies, all study abroad applicants are required to meet with Student Financial Services (SFS) to review their eligibility for federal and university-funded scholarships and financial aid. Program information and application materials may be obtained online at the SAO website, via e-mail at studyabroad@pointloma.edu, by telephone at 619-849-2387, or by visiting the Study Abroad Office.

To maintain a high academic standard, our programs require a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.750 or higher. Students who are on academic or disciplinary probation, or those who are not cleared by the Dean of Students, are not eligible to participate in study abroad programs.

Grades earned through the following programs are neutral and, as such, not included in PLNU GPA calculation:

  • PLNU-SAO-designated international affiliates
  • Non-PLNU-SAO programs
  • Semester-at-Sea programs

Grades earned through the following programs are included in PLNU GPA calculation:

  • PLNU-SAO-designated domestic affiliates
  • PLNU-SAO-designated partner programs
  • PLNU faculty-led programs

Students should confirm their program with the Study Abroad Office.

Academic Co-curricular

Co-curricular activities in the area of Academic Affairs include, but are not limited to, the following: a nationally ranked forensic team; the annual Sunset Cliffs National Forensics Tournament hosted by the university; California Board of Registered Nursing-approved continuing education courses;  the Intercultural Pathways Program, the Phi Alpha Theta society for history students; the Point Loma String Project; a wide variety of activities directed by the Fermanian Business and Economic Institute; and student summer research in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer information systems, and computer sciences.

Other opportunities directly or indirectly related to specific majors and programs include a host of ensembles in the Department of Music such as Chorale, Concert Choir, Point Loma Singers, Choral Union, Chamber Orchestra, Concert Band, and Jazz Band; radio station KPLR and the university television station, supported by the Department of Communication Studies; international study trips sponsored by the Center for International Development; summer marketing research, an honors program in the Fermanian School of Business; and an annual series of literary teas, Poetry Day, and a writer’s symposium featuring nationally known personalities, sponsored by the Department of Literature, Journalism, Writing, and Languages.

Learning Experiences for Academic Progress (LEAP)

Learning Experiences for Academic Progress (LEAP) provides a small group of freshmen with a year of selected activities, structured academic programming, and on-campus support services in order to facilitate the transition from high school into a four-year, residential environment, and to increase academic success, retention, and degree attainment. The cornerstone Freshman Studies Seminar courses (FST 1000 , FST 1001 ) guide students to develop functional learning strategies which are broadly applicable to a collegiate context. Although students in LEAP do not participate in ROTC or intercollegiate athletics, they do participate in the purposeful and holistic co-curricular opportunities incorporated into LEAP, in addition to curricular programming and academic enrichment. Faculty members, along with professionals from Academic Advising, Engagement and Retention, and Residential Life, serve as advocates and facilitators to encourage students to achieve their educational goals.

Students in LEAP are expected to meet or exceed predetermined academic standards. Students who fail to meet these standards may be subject either to disqualification or administrative withdrawal.

Course Load in LEAP.

The academic course load for students in LEAP is a maximum of 14 units in the fall semester, and 14-17 units in the spring semester, based on a student’s fall GPA:

  • LEAP participants whose fall GPA stands between 1.800 and 2.799 will carry a maximum spring load of 14 units. 
  • LEAP participants whose fall GPA is 2.800 or greater will carry a maximum spring load of 17 units. 

Disqualification. Students in LEAP may be disqualified during either fall or spring semesters.

  • In fall semester, LEAP participants who receive grades of C- or better in FST 1000  and WRI 1001  but whose cumulative GPA falls below 1.800 will be disqualified.
  • In spring semester, LEAP participants who receive a grade of C- or better in FST 1001 , but whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 will be disqualified.

Students in LEAP who are disqualified will receive a letter from the Vice Provost of Academic Administration indicating they have been disqualified from continuing at the university. To be considered for readmission, students must:

  • spend at least one regular semester away from the university (summer is not considered a regular semester);
  • take 12 pre-approved units at another institution;
  • present official transcripts that demonstrate a university cumulative GPA of 2.000 or above;
  • meet with the Vice Provost for Academic Administration; and
  • complete an application for readmission.

If readmitted, such students would sign a proposed Academic Improvement Plan, return on Academic Probation and enroll in a maximum of 13 units in their first semester back to allow deep concentration on a lighter class schedule.

Administrative Withdrawal. Students in LEAP may be administratively withdrawn at the end of either fall or spring semester.

  • In fall semester, LEAP participants who receive grades of lower than C- in FST 1000  or WRI 1001  and whose cumulative GPA falls below 1.800 will be administratively withdrawn.
  • In spring semester, LEAP participants who receive a grade of lower than C- in FST 1001  and whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 will be administratively withdrawn.

Students in LEAP who are administratively withdrawn will receive a letter from the Vice Provost of Academic Administration indicating they have been administratively withdrawn from continuing at the university. Although this withdrawal action offers no opportunity for appeal or readmission to LEAP, students who wish to do so can reapply directly through the Office of Admissions once they have completed 24 or more transferable units at another institution with a 2.800 or higher cumulative GPA.

Intercultural Pathways Program

Intercultural Pathways (IP) is a global citizenship skill-building program. A desired marker of all graduates is that they are able to embody meaningful community engagement in a complex world which demands intercultural awareness and skills. IP endeavors to make clear the various ways students can navigate the multiple options at the university to promote growth in intercultural competency. In addition, the program incentivizes participation in coursework, forums, and experiential programs that prepare students for meaningful intercultural engagement throughout life.

Students who join the Intercultural Pathways program will be awarded points for participation in designated courses, forums, and experiential engagements. Each academic year, students who earn four or more Pathway points that year will be recognized and awarded a gift. An “Intercultural Pathways Scholar” is identified as a student who completes 12 Pathway points (with at least two courses included) and writes a reflection essay assessed at a level 4 or 5 on the IP Essay Rubric (scale of 1 to 5). IP Scholars will receive a Scholar Award, recognition in their commencement program, and permission to use the IP logo and program descriptor on their resume and LinkedIn. (Program Descriptor: Intercultural Pathways (IP) Scholars are ready for the global workplace. IP Scholars participate in relevant courses and unique experiences that enhance their intercultural fluency and global awareness.)